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*** Election Night Livewire *** Pennsylvania, North Carolina, Kentucky, Idaho, Oregon Vote in Contentious Primaries

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Voters in Pennsylvania, North Carolina, Kentucky, Idaho, and Oregon all head to the polls Tuesday to select their nominees in both GOP and Democrat primaries in what is thus far this year perhaps the biggest election night yet.

Center-stage is Pennsylvania’s GOP U.S. Senate primary, where celebrity Dr. Mehmet Oz – with former President Donald Trump’s endorsement – aims to secure the nomination and advance to the general election. Both Oz and businessman David McCormick, who despite his Wall Street history has run one of the most America First campaigns this cycle, have spent north of eight figures bashing each other to smithereens in a brutal ad campaign. Kathy Barnette, the author and conservative commentator whose powerful personal story has captivated voters, has surged into the top tier in the final weeks of the campaign, giving both of the big spenders a run for their money. Who wins between Oz, McCormick, and Barnette, will have major implications for the future of the GOP, for the party’s chances in the general election in Pennsylvania, and whether the GOP has a shot at retaking the U.S. Senate majority in these upcoming midterm elections in November.

The winner of that primetime primary is likely to face Democrat Lt. Gov John Fetterman in the general election, assuming Fetterman can swat away primary opponents, including Rep. Conor Lamb (D-PA), even after suffering a stroke that has left him hospitalized in the final days of the campaign.

In addition to many key congressional primaries as well, voters in Pennsylvania will also select nominees in both parties for governor. On the Democrat side, Attorney General Josh Shapiro is a shoo-in and looks to make his general election bid formal on Tuesday night. On the GOP side, divisions remain despite a last-second endorsement of state Sen. Doug Mastriano from Trump. Mastriano, a deeply-flawed candidate with a messy history on the issues, has relied on a divided field to poll well ahead of the rest of his opponents. Other Republicans, most prominently former Rep. Lou Barletta (R-PA), have waged a desperate campaign in an attempt to hold him off.

In North Carolina, Rep. Ted Budd (R-NC) appears to be coasting into the GOP nomination for U.S. Senate – something that just a few months ago was no sure thing. However, Budd, with Trump’s endorsement, has rallied late in the spring to a commanding lead in the polls representing a generational shift inside the GOP towards outsider candidates like him and J.D. Vance in Ohio, who won his primary a couple of weeks ago. Several down ticket congressional primaries are up for grabs, too, most notably whether Rep. Madison Cawthorn (R-NC) can hold off a primary challenge, and some open seats will test Trump’s endorsement there as well.

In Oregon and Kentucky, Democrat infighting in their primaries could potentially be the story of the night, and other races loom large there possibly. In Idaho, GOP Gov. Brad Little faces GOP Lt. Gov. Janice McGeachin in a primary. Trump endorsed McGeachin, another test of the former president’s strength inside the party, especially in a deep red state like Idaho.

Follow along here for live updates as the results pour in from across the country. The polls begin closing in parts of Kentucky at just 6 p.m. ET and the rest of the state at 7 p.m. ET. In North Carolina, the polls are open until 7:30 p.m. ET, and in Pennsylvania until 8 p.m. ET. In Idaho, the polls close at 10 p.m. ET, and in Oregon most of the polls close at 11 p.m. ET though some in areas that follow Mountain Time close at 10 p.m. ET.

UPDATE 7:54 p.m. ET:

It is worth noting that the open U.S. Senate seat in North Carolina that Budd just won the nomination for and is easily the favorite over Beasley in November’s general election is being vacated by retiring Sen. Richard Burr (R-NC). Similar to in Ohio a couple weeks ago, where the outgoing Sen. Rob Portman (R-OH) saw the GOP primary for his seat won by another outsider J.D. Vance, this seems to be the beginning of major changes to the Republican Party–and the U.S. Senate–in 2022.

UPDATE 7:52 p.m. ET:

On the other side of the aisle, Democrat Cheri Beasley has wrapped up her primary and will face Budd in November in the critical swing state of North Carolina:

UPDATE 7:51 p.m. ET:

The polls were not closed for even 20 minutes before the Associated Press made the official call for the Trump-backed Ted Budd, who is now the GOP nominee for U.S. Senate:

This was clearly a landslide, or blowout, election victory for both Budd and Trump.

UPDATE 7:49 p.m. ET:

Meanwhile, in the 11th district, Cawthorn might be in a bit of trouble:

UPDATE 7:47 p.m. ET:

With 11 percent reporting according to the New York Times, Budd has a commanding lead over McCrory and former Rep. Mark Walker (R-NC). Budd has 57.8 percent to McCrory’s 25.5 percent while Walker has just 8.7 percent.

UPDATE 7:40 p.m. ET:

Ted Budd has taken a huge lead in the very early results, and Dave Wasserman of the Cook Political Report has already called the race for him:

News organizations have yet to call it, but it seems like Budd is as expected coasting to victory. This is another win for Trump, and more importantly was not always as sure a thing as it turned out to be in the last few weeks. As recently as late winter or early spring, Budd was trailing in the polls or even with his opponents. Trump’s early endorsement, as well as a strong campaign from the conservative outsider, seem to have generated significant momentum for him and propelled him to way out in front in this critical race. Budd is likely to face Democrat Cheri Beasley in the general election.

UPDATE 7:36 p.m. ET:

Another Trump endorsement, Rep. Andy Barr (R-KY), won his primary:

UPDATE 7:34 p.m. ET:

One to watch closely in North Carolina is the primary challenge that Rep. Madison Cawthorn (R-NC) is facing. He’s endorsed by Trump, but has been dogged by a series of attacks in recent weeks. The primary runoff thresholds also, per some experts, benefit him:

UPDATE 7:31 p.m. ET:

Another Trump endorsement, Rep. Thomas Massie (R-KY), has won his primary:

UPDATE 7:30 p.m. ET:

The polls have now closed in North Carolina, where the GOP U.S. Senate primary is set to be the banner race but several down-ticket primaries matter as well. Results should be coming very soon and if the polls showing Rep. Ted Budd (R-NC) significantly leading huge over former GOP Gov. Pat McCrory are right a call should be imminent.

UPDATE 7:23 p.m. ET:

Those 26 Trump endorsements on the line on Tuesday night are as follows, according to Trump’s team:

Idaho-Governor: Janice McGeachin
Idaho-Senate: Mike Crapo
Idaho-01: Russ Fulcher

Kentucky-Senate: Rand Paul
Kentucky-01: James Comer
Kentucky-02: Brett Guthrie
Kentucky-04: Thomas Massie
Kentucky-05: Hal Rogers
Kentucky-06: Andy Barr

North Carolina-Senate: Ted Budd
North Carolina-03: Greg Murphy
North Carolina-05: Virginia Foxx
North Carolina-07: David Rouzer
North Carolina-08: Dan Bishop
North Carolina-09: Richard Hudson
North Carolina-10: Patrick McHenry
North Carolina-11: Madison Cawthorn
North Carolina-13: Bo Hines

Pennsylvania-Governor: Doug Mastriano
Pennsylvania-Senate: Mehmet Oz
Pennsylvania-08: Jim Bognet
Pennsylvania-10: Scott Perry
Pennsylvania-11: Lloyd Smucker
Pennsylvania-13: John Joyce
Pennsylvania-14: Guy Reschenthaler
Pennsylvania-16: Mike Kelly

UPDATE 7:21 p.m. ET

The polls have closed in Kentucky, and several of Trump’s endorsed candidates have already won. Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) won his primary easily:

So did Rep. Hal Rogers (R-KY):

In total, Trump has 26 endorsements on the line nationwide on Tuesday night.


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